Two questions we should demand Congress ask of Eric Holder before confirming him. The same two questions Mukasey refused to answer.
1. Is waterboarding torture?
We all know, and every legal opinion outside of Alberto Gonzales knows this to be the case. Waterboarding is torture and torture is a war crime.
2. Since we know the Bush administration at the highest levels approved waterboarding which is torture which is a war crime, will you appoint a special prosecutor and fulfill your duty to see that justice and the rule of law apply to all Americans? Can you assure us neither circumstance nor convenience nor competing interests be allowed to suppress our fundamental principals -- one being that rule of law applies to members of own government.
We don't need a commission to tell us what we already know, and what happened is a matter of record.
A commission's only purpose here is to provide cover and time for the guilty -- including enablers in the Democratic Party. This is not another political play of the day. Arguing this as just another political moment is a case of moral relativism at its most insane -- this is Dante. Torture and the suspension of habeas corpus and the violations of privacy through the FISA court are ironclad felonies. Open and shut. Those who say we need to move on are as guilty in some ways as the perpetrators of the crime and many who did nothing are morally, if not legally, culpable. So, of course, pressure will be intense to turn the other way.
The only relative argument that seems to make any sense is that President Obama may choose not to make the rule of law a top priority. This seems plausible and politically expedient, but dangerous and shortsighted -- the world will only fully understand that America is in the process of renewal if justice is served.
Our collective self-worth and character need to come first. What is the point of having our economic interests and security be so sacrosanct if our government (us) is really just worthless and soulless garbage who can commit felonies and war crimes with no accountability? We will never gather the collective strength to overcome our problems if we don't reclaim our basic, fundamental principals. It is the oxygen of tolerant and free people everywhere and we want it back... we need to breathe it again.
Otherwise the precedent for criminality will be clear for future criminals. Get a lawyer you appoint -- one without a soul or conscience -- to excuse whatever crime you are about to commit by writing a brief saying it's legal, do what you want, then refer to your lawyer's excuse as a get out of jail free card.
President Obama, it seems to me, has the right to serve the country in the order he sees fit and in the order of his own choosing. What he, Mr. Holder, Mr. Reid and Mrs. Pelosi cannot do morally or legally is stop or block justice.
If they do, whatever we change into is not worth saving.
And even if the leadership tries to obfuscate and cover up, the tone from Obama and Holder is the key. In fact, no special prosecutor is needed if the AG acknowledges waterboarding as torture because the DOJ can investigate and prosecute on its own under existing US war crimes statutes.
If President Obama is really committed to a new clean environment, it has to start in DC.
Again, Mr. Holder:
1. Is waterboarding torture?
2. Will you prosecute? No matter what sham commission is appointed to block justice?
I would hope we pressure our representatives, whomever questions Mr. Holder, to play the video of the Vice President of the United States admitting to sanctioning a torture program. He not only admits the war crimes but seems proud and pleased with himself.
Someone, anyone, for the sake of our constitution, ask Mr. Holder, the presumptive top legal authority, the man who will lead the Justice Department after the most lawless time in American history, to answer these simple, basic, direct questions.
Whomever is found guilty should not be on the lecture circuit, but in prison.